Posts Tagged With: book

47. SECOND CHANCE SUMMER by Morgan Matson

second chance summer

 

The plot is not something as new and not extraordinary. In fact, it has the common theme of family, love and friendship drama. Just the heavy topic of death hovering the lead page. But the simplicity of how it is written, of how it is centered on one place, made the story personal, heart-melting even.

It mainly focused on the family aspect. While struggling to accept the fact that a loved-one might be gone in 3 months or four, the whole Edwards family went back to their old summer house in Lake Phoenix, after 5 long years. Mom, Dad, Big brother Warren, Little sister Gelsey and Mid-child Taylor. All were used to the comforts of the city and their individual busy lives there that when they found out that Dad has stage 4 cancer, it was decided that they should spend the summer, the “maybe-last summer” together in the familiar and homey place of their lakehouse.

Unwillingly, Taylor, was half-heartedly dragged home due to some personal reasons. She left some unfinished business 5 years ago, and would not want to confront her fears. It allegedly involved Lucy, her former bestfriend, and Henry, her first love. Now that she came back, meeting them was inevitable. But the fact that Taylor knew she was the one at fault before, she had to make some amends and rekindle the friendships.

The summer was just like any summer. Beach, dock, movies under the stars, bicycle rides, flip-flops, kisses, falling stars, ice cream and cake and more. But the best thing about Taylor’s summer was the chance that she got to make all things right. With her family, especially with her dad. I love the scenes when they sneak out to have their quality time, like breakfasts and getting to know each other questions. I really loved that! I was overwhelmed with the fact that they get to say their respective goodbyes. That while facing and accepting death is not an easy thing to handle, the whole family faced it together. They had the best last summer together!

Henry and Lucy and Warren and Gelsey and other sub characters made the story more interesting. I was just quite disappointed on how the revelation of Taylor’s not wanting to go back because of what happened 5 years ago turned out. I just thought it was that silly. But when i come to think of it, it was very Taylor. Because she was this person who always run away when the going gets tough, when life for her becomes hard. It was not a good trait of her, and i hate her for that. She was that coward in every little thing.

This is a story about family. And love between them, between friends, between lovers. This will make you appreciate more the life that you have and the time that you get to spend with your loved ones. Don’t waste opportunities when you can be with your family and friends dear to you. Always show them that you care. Always tell them that you love them. Because no matter how easy going your life maybe now, you don’t know when the time will be up. You don’t want to have regrets in the end.

Over all, the writing is simple and easy to comprehend. The vivid details made you know more about the characters and the setting. The fact that i love the beach and the sun and summer. Plus the fact that i get to learn classic movies to watch out for, Casablanca and the Thin Man. I learn to appreciate the book not only for the story itself but the things i get to learn from it. Now, i know what to do with my lazy coffee bondings with friends and families, get to know more with q & a’s. 🙂

NOW WATCHING CASABLANCA.  Thanks SECOND CHANCE SUMMER for introducing this to me.

I have a full copy here, though.  But i’m sharing you the trailer of the Youtube link, anyway.

 

My favorite quote:

“Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine. — Rick”

“Awwwww… wait, quick info.  I’ve been to Casablanca, Morocco already. My stay was short and sweet, cultural and of course,  a taste of modern times, year 2006.  Casablanca movie was year 1942, a lot had changed already.  Still, i enjoyed it though.  CLASSIC! — arjaye”

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27. LOVE LETTERS TO THE DEAD by Ava Dellaira (book review)

Dear May,

Ive’ been wanting to tell you, Laurel made me one such lonely girl.  Forgive me for this but the entire story, she made  me feeling down.  When you died, you see, she kept it all to herself.  Let it be known to the dead, whom  no longer be able to answer her letters back or impart some words of wisdom to sooth her confused mind, the burden was all passed to me.  Since I am still a part of the living world, I have to carry all her angst, her loneliness, her grief in this world.  To her family, to his friends, to her first love, whom she cannot be open to and share her feelings.  I saw it in her eyes how she relive you and more of your precious moments together.  The happy ones and the sad ones as well.  As i hear her think of all the times that led you to that fateful night, each revelation was like one step to the burning fire.  I got scared every time she was peeling off layers and layers of  truths around you and your death.  I was so anxious to know.  In the same way, I want to know you more personally.  But it will never happen now.  The faeries and the wings, by the way, was such a hit.  Even i would believe it if I was your sister, too.

I don’t like it when Laurel wrote about your relationship with Paul and Billy.  Sounded like real trouble to me!  I would have gladly let her share it with Sky, I know he can be trusted. But it was between me and Laurel alone. All of it.  That we had to tackle all her doubts and fears, joys and pain, the forgiving and forgetting part.  When she entered highschool, with you being gone, broken family, Mom moving out, ping-pong stay with Dad and Jesus-fearing Aunt Amy, no friends, a past trying to get away from, fitting in, then finally having friends for real, liking somebody, loving Sky and Sky loving her back.  And dumping her soon enough, for lame excuses that don’t matter.  Or they really do matter!  It was not that an easy life to handle for her, you know.  After all, she was just a teenager.  And you were no longer to guide her through this.  Don’t get me wrong, May.  I know you don’t want any of this.  You don’t have any choice.  It just happened.

Actually, the writing to the dead part doesn’t bother me.  It was why Laurel was doing that made me wonder how bad you and your little sister had to endure those last few moments you were together.  What happened to you was sad, even tragic.  Like what happened to all those people she had written letters to.  Kurt Cobain, Amelia Earhart, Amy Winehouse, Jim Morrison, and the list goes on.  Their death put everybody including the people they don’t know in grief and misery.  But in taking a glimpse of their lives when still living, shed a light on how normal people they can be.  It even made me understand how from their background, life took them to different paths.

Laurel really took your passing away so hard that it was sucking away the happiness in her life.  Sky, who at some point, almost gave up on her.   But when i came to know the truth, the reason behind all those feelings, I now understood.  What happened to her, also, was sad and depressing.  But lets be thankful to those who helped her get back on her feet again.  Special mention to friends, Hannah and Natalie, Tristan and Kristen, Mom and Dad, Aunt Amy and Mrs. Buster.  They were not perfect but their imperfections made Laurel accept and understand the world more.  I wish you could have met them all, when you were still here.  You will like them, for sure!

Life has to move on, even when you are no longer around.  You will not be forgotten, May.  But accepting and letting you go, in some way helped clear Laurel’s path to enjoying each and everyday of her life.

She really looked up to you May.  She loved you more than anything.  You were such an amazing sister, an inspiration even though you were as flawed as you can be.

She loved you then, she still loves you now.  Laurel misses you so badly.  But until you meet again, you will be her one and only star, or fairy with the most beautiful and strong wings, for that matter.

Yours,

Arjaye

LoveLettersToTheDead

GOODREADS’ SUMMARY:

It begins as an assignment for English class: Write a letter to a dead person. Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain because her sister, May, loved him. And he died young, just like May did. Soon, Laurel has a notebook full of letters to people like Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Amelia Earhart, Heath Ledger, and more; though she never gives a single one of them to her teacher. She writes about starting high school, navigating new friendships, falling in love for the first time, learning to live with her splintering family. And, finally, about the abuse she suffered while May was supposed to be looking out for her. Only then, once Laurel has written down the truth about what happened to herself, can she truly begin to accept what happened to May. And only when Laurel has begun to see her sister as the person she was; lovely and amazing and deeply flawed; can she begin to discover her own path.

 

MY TAKE ON THE BOOK:

Sad and happy at the same time.  I guess, this is the kind of reaction Ms. Ava Dellaira is hoping to get from anybody who reads her story.  Yes, this book might deceive you passing as a young adult novel.  But be aware that though it involved teenagers, it is as depressing a bad life in real world anybody can get.  Yes, it made me feel down, almost all the time but it was only an indication on how effective her writing was.  At the end, it all boils down to whether you relate yourself with the story or you learn something from it.  Books like these, tackling the relationship between sisters, will always have a place in my reader-heart.  I have my one and only sister, and these kind of books made me really appreciate her more.  Treasuring each and every second with her, fightings and making fun with and about us, included. I will be more than happy to take the bad with the good, as long as as we experience life together and grow old together.

I learned a lot, too.  From biographical points to wisdoms in life. These celebrities’ pasts can be quite informative and helpful, though sometimes, it felt to much for me.  Information-overload as you may have it,  from some of those unnecessary letters that can be omitted and still come up with a good book that conveys those messages you want the reader to know and learn from.  But if everything is to be regarded, this book is as effective and touching that it encouraged me to do like what Laurel did.  A letter to May.

After all, MAY is one of the more famous names now.  Love Letters to the Dead is one good book in the literary world nowadays, that makes her one dead celebrity, right?!.  🙂

 

“♥ ♥ ♥ ♥”

 

Categories: book review, books | Tags: , , , , , | 9 Comments

24. IF I STAY by Gayle Forman

I read the book then i watch the trailer.

That is how i approach movie adaptations these days.  Actually, that is my rule, if i can help it.

With a lot of books coming alive on the big screen, we can’t help but to compare.  And in my opinion, I always prefer to read the story first, then see it in my imagination, build its way to my emotions, experience the feelings first-hand, then finally, watch its reflection through my own eyes.

 

THE BOOK

IF-I-STAY

 

A story about love, family, choices, happiness. It is about living, dying, fighting and accepting. i was teary eyed on most parts but because i was already prepped for the drama when the major heartbreaking scene was presented to me not even past 10 pages. So i kind of expected a lot of crying and such will be involved.  I knew it will revolve on the “should i stay or should i go” premise, thus the title, but still i cant help but to be touched on how i saw the life of Mia, relived through her own eyes. Death will always be a painful topic to tackle, no matter how you approach it in a story, most especially if it is about the loved-one’s. But here, we saw two sides, both from the one having the dilemma and the people she will be leaving behind.  How kind words are that powerful to influence one’s decision, knowingly or unknowingly heard. This story gave me some unforgettable lines which in honesty, i didn’t recognize how big the impact was until i heard them uttered in the first trailer courtesy of youtube.com.

This is where now the movie adaptation enters.

THE MOVIE (Trailer)

I already finished the book but the movie will still be out on August.  I already knew how it ended, in its written-form, but still wondering how well it will be played visually.  Saw the characters portrayed by the actor and actresses i am  familiar with.  I even remembered the resemblance on one of the most acclaimed love story in the movie industry during the 90’s. Unchained melody, ringing a bell??

Few more months of waiting till we see and hear Mia actually plays the cello.  Till we witness Adam making Mia fall in love with him, despite the differences.  Till we meet Mom, Dad, Teddy, Gran, Gramps and Kim.  Julliard, Shooting Star, Yo-yo Ma, punks, hipsters, musicians.  Till our hearts break into pieces, ‘coz you have to choose: to stay or to let go.

As i watch the trailer over and over again, i can’t help but succumbed to these words… much more heart-felt when you hear them spoken.

“Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make you.”
———————
“The you you are now is the same you I was in love with yesterday and the same you I’ll be in love with tomorrow.”
———————
“Here’s the secret, baby: if you live; if you die; it’s all up to you.”
———————-

“I can’t lose her.”
———————-
“I’m still here. And I’m still crazy in love with you. Please stay.”

———————-

And the soundtrack…. it blew me away! The lyrics ever fitting…. SAY SOMETHING by Great Big World.

Categories: book review, books, movie | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

16. BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S

 THE BOOK AND THE MOVIE

bat5

Ive heard the movie first before the book.  Because it was Audrey Hepburn, one of the most fashionable icons of all times.  Beside her pretty and cool antics, the style that she wore and portrayed in the role of Ms.  Holly Golightly really made the character alive.  She lighted up the screen.

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As for her leading man, Mr. George Peppard, he swooned me.  Cute as his role can be, he was as just as love struck as a man can be.

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I can totally say that ive appreciated the book more when i finally watched it visually.  i was re-oriented to the old ways, re-introduced to a much more liberated New York Society in late 50’s.  The heels, the dresses, the brands, Tiffany’s, were not at all new to me, but seeing it during those not so olden times, it was fabulous.  The effortless style and classic beauty that Audrey held was just as a perfect re-invention of Holly’s character.  And the ever romantic of a writer that Paul Varjak can be, George captured it.

bat1

The story in itself had a lot of social issues tackled.  A lot of of parties, indecent proposals, cigars and drinks, both in the book and the movie.  Infidelities, different kind of affairs, mafias, crime, were kind of tolerated in the story.  But hey, it just only show how real the world was for the people then and even now, if you look at the society closely.  This contained romance, comedy and realistic tale of a young woman in search for a fuller life, sidestepping the society’s view and not necessarily agreeing to norms.   Not so different from the world we are living in right now.   Nothing is perfect.

There were some major alterations throughout the movie but if you were a sucker for romantic and fairytale endings, the movie will be just the one for you.  The perfect ending to somewhat misfit characters.  Threw some comedic characters in it, like Mr. Yunioshi, which is not very much like that in the book, and the cat who doesn’t have a name, made the movie much appreciated.

As i read some articles about the casting, Audrey Hepburn was not originally chosen.  It was supposed to be Marilyn Monroe.  Though Mr. Truman Capote was not happy about it that time, i can say as a member of the newer generation, Ms. Hepburn did a great job of portraying Holly Golightly.   She had this charm and grace and elegance that burned brightly on the screen.  She was a doll, especially when she sang “Moon River” by Henry Mancini, by the window pane, sporting some casual attire.  Even there, you can see what beauty she had, as simple as she may seem.

Not convinced?  Please allow me to show you…

Awwwww! my heart melted! That was my favorite scene!

One word for Breakfast at Tiffany’s…  CLASSIC! 

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Categories: book review, books, movie | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

PANDEMONIUM (Delirium series #2)

image

After reading this, i have written.

A LETTER TO LENA

The Wilds had changed you.  For the better.  You are much stronger now, but harder on the edges.  You are more trained and skilled to live in this new world that you were in.  The new Lena is ready to fight for what she wants.  The freedom to love.  And you will do whatever it takes to accomplish that, spy or not.  But for whom, not Alex anymore.  And that was just plain sad.

A LETTER TO JULIAN

New guy.  That’s it. 

A LETTER TO ALEX

One word best describes you. 
CLIFFHANGER.
When i started leafing through the pages of pandemonium, i was thinking where and when will you show up.  I kept on looking for signs that in anyway will lead to you or to a sneak peek of your whereabouts.  that way, i still have a hope that you’re still out there, breathing, still fighting.  but, you were totally gone in all the pages.  yes, you live through lena’s dreams, halllucinations, or whatever you may call it, but physically in the book, we readers, lost you.  and that had a big impact on us who kept track of your unfailing love affair with lena, through good and bad times in delirium. 
But a girl can always hope, right? Im not giving up.  so, ill see more of you in requiem.

A LETTER TO MS. LAUREN OLIVER

One reason why Julian really had a hard time infiltrating in my thoughts, i kept on thinking he was just a friendly distraction.  but well, you really got me there, Ms. LAUREN OLIVER.  you really didnt need to put on xtra effort emphasizing that Alex was gone already, i just felt it everytime i turn another page and another page and another page.  until it finally sank in.  the glimmer of hope that i had died when Julian uttered these words to Lena,” what does it feel like to be infected by deliria… I want to know, i want to know it with you…” It was set on stone when at the very end, he went up to her and said you and me. Promise?  then bam! why do u have to do it ms. oliver? why?! (forgive me for being so overly exaggerated hehe! just want u to know how i felt this last night.  😦

Its understandable that it ended up like that in delirium, chaos was the word.  But here, omg! So calm, isn’t it?  but why beneath those calmness, i sense a wave.  a raging wave that is about to rock every bit of Lena’s world.  Or in real time space, my world.

NOW
Ive been wandering why Lena havent jump for joy when all this time, she was hoping and praying all along this exact moment to happen.  When, and if whenever, Alex would materialize in front of her.

THEN
Suddenly, i remembered the kiss at the Salvage with Julian.  Then it dawned on me. Things change, and so do people, and feelings, too.  😦

Categories: book review, books | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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